Signs of Teething and Pain Relief Options



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Signs of Teething and Pain Relief Options

Babies can start teething as early as three months old or as late as twelve months. One of the most common signs of teething is excessive drooling, which can take place days or weeks before the first tooth makes an appearance. While in other infants, a tooth will simply appear overnight, with no obvious symptoms. Teething can be very painful for your little one, especially when the molars come in. During this time, it can be difficult to soothe your child or even recognize that teething is what’s causing their discomfort.



Common Signs of Teething

While some doctors will argue that the most common sign of teething is drooling, most parents will tell you that a change in behavior, such as increased crying or irritability, is the telltale sign. Some babies may become incredibly fussy days before a tooth erupts, refusing the bottle, their favorite snack or fighting sleep. A baby who normally sleeps through the night may awaken several times and can be difficult to soothe. When this behavioral change takes place weeks before the tooth erupts it can be alarming to new parents who can’t seem to pinpoint what’s wrong.



image of baby

If your infant is eating solids they may prefer the bottle over their favorite foods because the spoon can irritate tender gums. Or their appetite may be the same, but you’ll notice that they’ve started to clamp down on the spoon or chew on it, which may be their way of using counterpressure to relieve gum pain.

Before you make that doctor’s appointment, give your baby a cold teething toy that’s been placed in the fridge for twenty to thirty minutes. Does this instantly quiet your child? If so, this increased fussiness may be due to teething. Crankiness will often happen during the night as the tooth travels through the bone and gums. Usually, this happens in stages and tends to occur most often at night.

Obvious signs of teething include swollen gums, drooling or the sight of a tooth poking through. Babies often use counterpressure to relieve the pressure felt in the gums from an emerging tooth. They do this by sticking everything and anything in their mouths, chewing or sucking on an object.

Right before a tooth breaks through the gums it can cause the gums to take on a bruised, swollen or even puffy appearance.

Is it an Ear Infection or Tooth Eruption?

A painful experience that involves excessive pressure, a baby may pull on their ears in order to alleviate this pressure in the ears, jaw, and gums. Some parents may mistake this as a sign of an ear infection. To rule out an ear infection, take your child’s temperature, look for swelling and redness in the ear and gently press on the areas around the ear. If your child begins to cry as you touch the ear and surrounding area or when drinking a bottle, they may have an ear infection. If your infant experiences any of these other symptoms, especially a low-grade fever, then they’re most likely cutting a tooth.



How to Relieve Teething Pain

Relieving teething pain can be tricky and the same techniques will not work for every child. There are many methods you can try that will help to relieve pressure, soothe swollen gums and give your baby a little relief from this constant nagging pain.



image of teething infant

Be prepared. Your child may get their first tooth at three months of age or eight months, it’s different for every baby. Once your child approaches the three-month mark purchase a variety of teethers of different sizes and textures. Tender gums will prefer saline filled teethers that you can stick in the fridge. While other babies may prefer chewing on a plastic spatula or teething rattle.

Baby Orajel can instantly soothe tooth pain, but it may not be very effective if your child is drooling a lot.

Wet a washcloth and watch as your infant busies themselves sucking the cold water while using counterpressure to relieve gum pain. This is a very effective remedy that can keep your little one happy much longer than using Orajel will.

Fruit feeders are great for babies who are transitioning to finger foods, but it can also be the perfect teether. A fruit feeder consists of a rattle-like handle to make it easy for your baby to grasp and a netted pouch that’s designed to encase a piece of fruit, preventing your baby from choking. When your baby is teething, place an ice cube or frozen piece of fruit in the feeder. They’ll have an instant treat they can chew and suck on for relief.

You can also give your baby a dose of acetaminophen for temporary pain relief or ibuprofen. Ibuprofen may be more effective and can reduce inflammation in the gums. Speak to your doctor and get an accurate dosage based on your baby’s weight and age.



Teething Pain or Something Serious?

Seasoned parents may dismiss increased fussiness as teething, but some of these signs may actually be caused by illness. Speak with your doctor if you’re unable to soothe your child, if they have a fever higher than a hundred degrees, if they cry for longer than an hour, if they have more than four episodes of diarrhea in one day or if they refuse their bottle for more than one feeding.

The whole teething process will last for a couple of years, but after your child receives their molars, the other teeth that follow will not be as painful. Pediatricians recommend caring for your child’s teeth as soon as they appear, using an infant toothbrush or wet washrag.

When your Baby Starts Teething at 3 Months

Most babies will begin teething at around six to seven months of age. Only a small percentage will begin teething at 3 months, but it can happen and when it does it often throws mom for a loop. It can be especially hard if your child isn’t on solids yet, limiting you to pain relief techniques that don’t involve food, which can be very effective for some babies. But aside from this issue, teething at 3 months is pretty much the same as teething a few short months down the line.



Teething at 3 Months: Your Irritable Baby

A teething baby may be irritable and hard to please. This type of change in behavior most often occurs a few days before the tooth breaks through and for a few days after. If you’re not sure that your infant is teething, take a look at the gums. When a baby is teething the gums are often bright red, swollen and have a somewhat puffy appearance. You can also run your finger gently over the gums. If you find a small bump, this is a big indicator that a tooth is on the way.



image of crying infant

Ibuprofen can really help with pain relief. Make sure you speak with your physician in order to get the best dosage for your baby’s age and weight. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that can help reduce swelling in the gums, and give your little one much-needed relief.

Some babies show no obvious signs of pain or discomfort when teething, but they may refuse the breast or bottle during this time. If your infant skips more than one feeding while teething, it’s important to contact the pediatrician. Your Child’s doctor can rule out another cause of their refusal to eat or determine when an appointment may be necessary if your infant continues to refuse milk.

Not So Common Teething Symptoms and Complications

Some infants may even develop a low-grade fever when teething. This is usually around ninety-nine to a hundred degrees. Fever that’s greater than a hundred degrees is not associated with teething. Most pediatricians recommend calling only if your baby has a fever of a hundred and one or higher, but if you’re concerned that your baby’s temperature has nothing to do with teething, contact your doctor right away. Urinary tract infections in infants are not common, but it does happen, often as a result of fecal matter entering the urethra. Other than a low-grade fever, a UTI in an infant can be hard to spot, so contact your pediatrician right away if your child has a fever with no obvious cause.

Parents and pediatricians have been debating the whole diarrhea teething connection for years. Most pediatricians argue that diarrhea is not associated with teething, while parents argue that whenever their infant is teething diarrhea is sure to follow, so one must be related to the other. Whether related or not, it’s important to contact your pediatrician if your infant has more than four episodes of diarrhea in one day, especially if they’re only three months old. Dehydration is a big concern in infants this young and it can occur quickly.

Are Teething Beads Safe?

Teething beads are pretty popular these days and are a fashionable teething accessory your baby can wear. Infants love to chew on anything they can get their hands on when they’re teething.  Enter teething necklaces. These necklaces are made from Baltic amber, which is actually fossilized tree sap and is said to contain succinic acid, a substance that’s believed to relieve pain.



Teething Beads Worn by Mom or Baby?

In order to work, the amber needs to be heat activated, so when worn against the skin, the beads will release a small amount of succinic acid into the bloodstream. Currently, there have been no studies performed regarding whether or not amber actually possess pain relieving abilities. But the trend of wearing teething beads has taken the industry by storm. The idea that your baby can wear an eye-catching piece of jewelry that’s also a very accessible teether is pretty irresistible, but is it safe?



image of baltic amber necklace

As a parent, you’re probably pretty leery of allowing your infant to wear a potential choking hazard. Before you rush out and buy the first Baltic amber necklace you find, make sure you find a product that’s designed specifically for a baby. Some baby safe necklaces can be worn by the child or the parent.

Necklaces made for babies should feature a safety fastener, usually a magnetic clasp, that’s designed to release the loop should it become caught on anything. Never allow your infant to sleep wearing the necklace, in order to prevent strangulation. And lastly, never allow an infant to wear teething beads without parental supervision.

Necklaces that can be worn by the parent will usually feature the traditional clasp and may be a much safer alternative than allowing your child to wear one. With this style, mom can wear the necklace as she holds her baby during a shopping trip or other type of errand. A baby normally loves to chew on mom’s necklace so this may be the best option if you’re worried about a potential choking hazard.



The High Price of Teething Necklaces

Both the infant and parent style of teething necklaces comes with a fairly high price tag. And you may end up paying the high price for an imposter necklace. Because using this type of teething accessory is so trendy, a number of companies now feature their own line of Baltic amber models. But is it really amber they’re using? You can easily identify Baltic amber from an imposter by submerging the necklace in water. If it’s real, it will float.

The cost of these necklaces ranges from $30 to $60, depending on the manufacturer or whether you choose a tiny necklace for your infant or one for mom or dad to wear. What’s even worse, your child may not even like it, some babies can be pretty picky when they’re teething.

The teething process isn’t fun for anyone and it’s definitely hard to see your little one suffering. Which is one of the many reasons why you might want to give a teething necklace a shot. But as long as you’re armed with the tools and knowledge to help your infant through this trying time, there’s no reason to rush out and purchase a potentially dangerous teether. If you just have to give it a try, choose a model that can be worn by the parent and read consumer reviews in order to pinpoint a reputable company that actually uses Baltic amber.



When do Babies Start Teething: What to Expect

There are so many things new parents need to learn about their growing infant, but one of the most commonly asked questions is when do babies start teething? Some babies will begin teething as early as two or three months old. Late bloomers will begin the teething process as late as twelve to fourteen months of age. Cutting a tooth is a painful process that repeats itself several times during your child’s first two years of life. Because every baby is different, it can be hard to pinpoint when to expect this big milestone, but most pediatricians claim a child should begin teething right around the time their mom and dad did.



When do Babies Start Teething: Preparing for the Challenge

Your baby’s week may have been a long one. They woke up crabby, they refused their nap and they looked at their lunch with disgust. Days later, a small white tooth has made its way through the gum line and your baby is finally smiling again. This is a typical week in the life of the teething infant. The lucky ones will only experience a day or two of discomfort before their first tooth makes an appearance. But on average, most babies will feel the tooth coming days or weeks before it finally arrives.



image of baby and mom

While some babies can get their first tooth as early as three months, but it’s more common for a baby to begin teething around six months. Your once happy baby is having a meltdown and now it’s your job to make everything okay. You may not be able to completely relieve their pain, but there are a number of methods you can try to help make them more comfortable.



Teething Pain Relief

Some babies love teething rings while others just don’t. Give teething rings a try and make sure you keep at least two in the fridge ready for game time. A cool teething ring can be perfect for sore swollen gums.



If your baby doesn’t care for her teethers, try offering her a sippy cup filled with water or watered down juice. Be careful to limit her juice intake to only two ounces a day. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, tooth decay, and diarrhea. A cold drink can offer some relief to sore gums for babies over the age of four months. You can also try a cold snack, such as pureed fruit or yogurt. Use a feeder bag for safe fresh fruit feeding.

Make sure you avoid using homeopathic numbing agents on her gums. This can include tea tree oil or clove oil. These numbing agents are too strong for an infant and can actually numb the throat, causing your baby to have trouble swallowing. It can also cause excessive drooling which in turn can also result in choking. Before you try a home treatment be sure to consult your baby’s pediatrician. Often, they’ll recommend a safe alternative such as baby Orajel, which isn’t as effective but doesn’t pose a choking risk.


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